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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.

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2,158 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,158
Reviews: 993
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 86
Gots: 210 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,158 | Reviews: 993
Photo of slitherySOB
3.44/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured an almost champagne like colour into a chalice. Very little head to speak of, but plenty of carbonation. Noticed plenty of yeast chunks got through. Will have to learn to decant better. Very tropical floral smell. Lots of citrus, bananas, and dry grass and earth. Sweet and spicy taste. Lots of fruits and malts, with some pepper, cardamon, warming alcohol and I swear I tasted paprika. Mouthfeel was a bit harsh. Overly carbonated, almost burning sensation. A decent beer that needs improvement.

Photo of jph424
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my new Duvel tulip (I also have a Magic Chouffe Tulip but it could never accomodate the head of many of the Belgians).

A - Copper with a creamy thick eggshell head that leaves a nice lace.

S - Peppery with some strong tropical fruits and a little alcohol.

T - Peppery, cloves, malty sweetness, fruit, caramel, and at the end there is citrusy hops and warming alcohol. This beer is easier than most I have tried to distinguish taste characteristics. Quite tasty.

M - Great creamy mouthfeel with nice carbonation.

D - A sipper no doubt but highly enjoyable.

Photo of baos
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz into Falstaff goblet.

I had this one in 1996 in Amsterdam, this is the first time I've had it since. I remember it being ultra potent on top of my buzziness.

A: Light golden amber with a bit of haze with a two finger head that goes down to a half finger that sticks around. Very good looking on a beer thats this boozy.

S: Clove, candy sugar, and yes pink bubble gum again, and honey liqueur.

T: I'll go out on a limb here and say this tastes like pumpkin pie liqueur. You got your clove and your sugar and a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and then you have that honey liqueur. I guess its not as dark as pumpkin pie. How about light pumpkin pie liqueur?! Yes.

D: As this mama warms she gets good good good. I improved the marks above a couple of times, because of this. Very strong yes but like I've said before men drink strong brews and men would be just fine with a jar of this in front of all of ye night. Definitely wear this! It fits so nicely. She will fit you like two latex mittens. YES!

Photo of Atch
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: slightly cloudy, golden. little carbonation and minimal head.

Smell: Sweet and spicey, little citrusy.

Taste: For me, it tastes very sweet, I would like it more dry.

Mouthfeel: Feels very chewey and a little rough.

Drinkability: Not my favorite Belgian. But it was alright.

Photo of KiltedCulinarian
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank at a house warming party, no glasses to pour it in yet. Rather rich and warm in flavour. Nice mixture of carbonation and hops up front, but not overpowering. A little sweet, but once again a good balance and not overpowering. No distinct alcohol flavour, despite its high percentage. As it got warm the quality decreased.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single bottle at my local store.

This beer reads 10.5% abv. I have a feeling this was sitting on the shelf for quite some time as there was dust all over it. No freshness date anywhere.

A- Massive foamy white head. A bright golden color with really deep orange hues and bright spots. Nice amount of spiderweblike lacing around my entire glass.

S- Smell was quite floral, perfumey, earthy, and hoppy.

T- The taste was very strong with alcohol, banana, pepper, spice, maybe some cardamon. Overall it was very peppery with some fruity undertones and a huge alcohol presence.

M- Mouthfeel was as warm as can be, almost burning all over my throat.

D- This is rated lower due to the really big ABV. Drank one and realized I probably would not be able to have another.

Photo of bacabuck
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cracked open a bottle while watching the "Three Sheets" Beligum episode for the billionth time. Poured into a traditional Belgian glass it had a terrific 1 inch creamy white head that stayed throughout. Nice lacing on the glass as I slowly drank. The beer is a deep amber in color. Beer syrup comes to mind during the first few sips. Almost sticky sweet with banana and molasses. Finishes slightly bitter.

After letting the beer warm up a bit and getting past the 10.5% alcohol taste, it really starts to open up. Deep flavors of malt. Light dancing of carbonation. A really fine drink.

Photo of larsee01
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz stubby brown glass bottle poured into glass goblet.

Deep gold, hazy beer with a small white head that lingers respectably. Strong bubbly carbonation.

Not a really strong scent, but fruity, citrusy. A hint of yeasty sourness. Not a powerful smell to this one.

Phenols and some non-floral hoppy bitterness up front. 10.5% ABV is pronounced in this one! Sweet graininess emerges after first impression. tropical fruit here... Lingering alcohol and mild bitterness prominient throughout. Pleasant & sweet peppery finish.

Bubbly mouthfeel. Alcohol clings to the mouth.

If I were a pirate, I assume this would be my beer. Tropical, and boozy enough to cure the pain in my peg-leg. I haven't had too many forays into the 10.5 range yet. AL-CO-HOL! I'm not knocking this beer at all--it's good--it just reminds me of the malt-liquor kick experienced as an 18-year-old. I'm feeling pleasant and warm after one of these. If 10.5 can be drinkable, I guess this has good drinkability. Proceed with caution!

Photo of Slynger
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright, pale gold, slight haze, big rocky white head.

Bold and malty sweet nose. Fruity with spicy alcohol as well.

Heavy golden maltiness that is fairly creamy and smooth, but not overly sweet. A small amount of fermented honey sweetness comes through along with lemons and apples peeking in along the edges. Fairly heavy spiciness and alcohol slowly fade away after this one goes down.

Now this was to be my first of the style which I thought a Belgian IPA, not a BSPA. Maybe it is mislabeled. As a BSPA it is unspectacular. It isn't overly complex, but is heavy, malty, spicy, and alcoholic; which probably ranks it as one of the best pirate grog's available. yargh.

Photo of malty
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden amber liquid, which is a little cloudy due to swirling up the yeast and dumping it in (I never decant yeast, only when its ultra clumpy). The billowing head erupts to basically 4"+ in my Duvel glass. The loose blossoming head is as white as snow. Good fluffy patchy lace throughout the glass.

Once I clear some of the head away, I swirl the glass to smell sweet malts and funky yeasty esters. The sweet and sour smell is perfectly balanced and quite inviting.

The sweetness in the nose translates to the taste quite appropriately. Although the tart funk I detected in the nose is nowhere to be found in the taste - I'm a little (OK, a lot) bummed. The powdered sugar taste bumps-up against a little white pepper. The flavors are pretty much that, kinda one dimensional - but very good. Although I can feel the alcohol in the back of my mouth just a little, there's no alcohol burn whatsoever, and I cannot dectect it in the taste at all, which is a great feat to accomplish this!

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with much less felt carbonation than what I expected from witnessing the pour. The carbonation is fine and moderate. The dry, spicy/sweet quick finish is good.

Drinkability is good. Although I tease people by saying this is my 'session' beer, I really can drink only one due to its sweetness.

Overall a nice example of a Belgian strong golden ale. My bottle says 10.5% ABV, my cheeks are already feeling warm. I always like to try a bottle or two a year, just to get reacquainted to an old friend I've enjoyed for many years (I even have the T-shirt!).

Photo of Pointman
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok - here's the deal. Drank it out of a snifter...was really looking forward to it, and was bummed out. Smelled like URINE. What a turn off. Got past that, and enjoyed it, but the smell was terrible.

Very creamy finish. It does mask the high ABV nicely. I just must have had a bad bottle or this stuff just smells...

Photo of PhageLab
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sifter. Interesting bottle art.

A - Slightly hazy golden orange brew which produced a nice big layer of froth. Lacing as well as overall presentation was simply immaculate.

S - Fruits and yeast notes for the most part. A bit pungent and slightly acrid initially. After a few more breaths, it does become rather enticing.

T - I must admit I was completely blown away once I read the bottle and discovered it's 10.5% abv, it masks it completely. Big yeast and citrus notes, making it both mildly bitter and sweet. This is one to take in and think about.

M - Smooth medium body, mildly carbonated, and the palate suffers a slight burn, probably from the high alcohol content.

D - Abv definitely causes a hit here, this certainly is not an anytime brew, however, it is a wonderfully complex yet balanced sipper. Given it's name, I never would have expected something so refined. Find this one and try it, you will not be disappointed!

Photo of LittleCreature
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 4.5
Brilliant appearance, poured two and a half fingers of foamy off-white head that had great retention. Body colour is a brilliant cloudy amber.

Smell - 4.5
Completely delicious aroma, fruity, malty and sweet with floral hops. I can smell biscuity malt, pineapple, vanilla and some light spice.

Taste - 4.0
A very interesting flavour that is very Belgian, yet somewhat like a good American pale ale. Starts with biscuity malt, caramel and apricot. Moderate bitterness from the floral hops and a warming, dry finish.

Mouthfeel - 4.5
Moderate weight in the mouth coupled with creamy carbonation make the beer go down smoothly.

Drinkability - 4.5
Insanely drinkable for a beer with a 10.5%ABV.

If anything I have been harsh with this beer as I was close to giving it a 4.5 for taste. Quite delicious, evilly drinkable with no off flavours. Not one I had heard of before, but still one of the best beers I have tried however pricy ($11.50 per 330mL bottle). Recommended for sure!

Photo of JayQue
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Belgian, accessible for newbies and complex enough to satisfy everybody else. Pours a fairly clear dark gold with thousands of tiny bubbles. Huge white head that fades to a covering of the glass. Strong aroma, astringent, floral and spicy. Taste is really good. Signature Belgian flavors, astringent, banana, spices but with a nice balancing bitterness (I guess this is what makes it an IPA).

Mouthfeel is rich. I didn't notice any alcohol burn, but I definitely felt the warmth. Drinkability is very good. None of the tastes are so strong as to become annoying over a long haul. The long haul here is two...based on the abv, but I would enjoy every sip of those two!!! A nice beer.

Photo of bonbini26
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden brown in color, fruity (citrus and floral) and yeasty on the nose, with corresponding flavors, subtle hops on the finish. Hops develops over time with reminants of typical Belgian yeast. Not a trace of the alcohol, well brewed. Great Belgian for beginners to try, and beer drinkers will enjoy its nuances and lasting flavor

Photo of YankChef
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

corked 750 ml bottle poured into an odd stemless snifter

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark golden pale with strong orange hues. An inch high fluffy white head that dissipated quickly. Decent lacing.

Aroma: Buttery aromas to go along with the sweet smelling malt that is quite wheaty in aroma. Subtle smells of apricot and citrus.

Taste: The upfront flavor is of rich malty wheat and barley with some orange and buttery notes. There is even a little honeysuckle , It then gives the tounge a sharp punch that is not unlike an IPA, although this beer does not taste hoppy like an american ipa. The Alcohol also stings the palate, not unpleasantly tho, this beer is very quaffable for 10,5% ac.

Overall: A truely stellar brew, one that is a good gateway beer for the american extreme beer drinker that is trying to cross over to belgians.

Photo of czfreeman
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from a small 11.2 oz bottle. Gorgeous head, beautiful golden body. lots of lacing arond the goblet. Big smells of grass, yeast,wheats, wonderful wild things! These belgian brews are like sitting in a field! Taste is quite complex, sweet malts, wheats, citrus, grapefruit, thick sugary mouthfeel, very thick and sticky on the palate. Slight alcohol burn deep in the throat. drinkability for me is very slow simply because this is a very nice and complex brew, I can't drink quickly because it will all be gone! Imagine a Hogaarden x12 and this is it.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a tulip glass and received a small head that left constant lacings. The beer has a medium body w/ a amber golden appearance. The smell is very hoppy and yeasty w/ a tart citrus smell picked up. This is a beer that I will need to try again with more beer experience, because the taste is one of sour apples/pears/cherries or kriek/pineapples...basically a more acidic, not smooth fruit (not an orange, bananna, strawberry). I also picked up some of the hops w/ the high ABV, but there is also a dry backbite due to some pepper or spices. This isn't like most IPAs that heat up/exhaust your taste buds, this has a smooth, tasty flow over your tongue. I wouldn't drink more than one of these in one sitting, as the one I had has already made my night.

Photo of dsa7783
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a short, fat, stout, 11.2 oz bottle that came as part of a "Living Beers of the World" Gift Set from Gary's in Madison, pours a yellow-golden color with minimal head that soon dissapated... smell is full of fruits, esters and bananas... taste strongly complements the aroma... full of citrus fruits, bananas, esters, alcohol, and yeast... a hefty 10.5% ABV is certainly noticeable... the beer has a champagne / white-wine characteristic thanks to its strong alcohol percentage... very powerful and dominating brew... although considered a Belgian IPA, this could easily be mistaken for a Belgian Strong Ale... an interesting brew, with a pirate on the sticker of the bottle... recommended as an interesting depiction of the style... hard-to-find... worth a try...

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold with just a touch of cloud to it. Slight sweet hop on the nose. Flavor is smooth with a touch of sweet and a citrus tone. Alcohol is slightly noticeable, but definitely nowhere near overpowering. Carbonation is high with a lot of bubble on the mouth. Very drinkable, but not an overly unique brew. Smooth and steady. Probably one of the best of the many (7 so far) I have tried from Steenberge.

Pour the sediment in and you get a darker, cloudier brew that is slightly sweeter.

Photo of Contra
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the better labels, I'm glad to finally have tried this beer. It's what you expect from a Belgian Strong Ale. Somewhat sweet, with a banana like flavor, mixed with a bit of hops. Golden cloudiness, lacy head. The aroma is faint, but is fairly similar to the flavor. Quite strong, almost overpowering. But that's what I like about the Strong Ales.

Overall, very enjoyable. Unfortunately a bit expensive where I live, but its worth the extra dough.

Photo of Rudgers73
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass. It fills the glass about half-way with a cloudy, melon-amber color. There is about 1/4 inch of head that was produced by a relatively easy pour. It slowly begins to fade as it sets and it turns into blotchy swirls. It smells like strong sweet malts, grassy hops, and candi sugar. This smells a lot like St. Bernardus Watou Tripel. There is a creamy aspect to the smell that I think is produced by a very delicate balance of the malt used and the yeast. I like the flavor quite a bit. It is strong and sweet, the alcohol provides undertones of tart fruits that give it a sweet white wine dimension. The maltiness provides a strong base for the slightly bitter and grassy hops to build a bridge to the fruity alcohol. This is a well made, and extremely well balanced beer that gets better as it warms. The alcohol becomes more apparent, but I enjoy the level of fusel alcohol present. It's a kid reminder that this beer will kick your ass if your aren't careful.

Photo of elmore
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz into a Piraat snifter.

A: brisk pour produced a nice white 2 finger head that receded fairly quick and left some nice lacing. Golden, slightly opaque with some yeast sediment.

S: lots of yeast, citrus, spices, alcohol with a little malt sweetness.

T: yeasty with a hint of sweet malt and light fruits (maybe pineapple and apricots) with a very peppery, spicy aftertaste, which I beleive is imparted by the hops - not what I typically get from a belgian ale - I like it. Pleasant alcohol warmness that nicely compliments the complex spices.

M: light crisp, high carbonation, effervescent.

D: very drinkable for the high content.

Very good beer. I really like the spicy hop aftertaste. It sets this beer apart from the other pale belgian ales I have had.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

For a Belgian beer with high abv most are very drinkable. I found that Piraat does not fall into that category. Its pours with a light fluffy head, decent retention and lacing. Has a slightly hazy golden color.

Smells nice, notes of sweet fruits, yeasty spices, licorice, pale malt and rather boozy.

Tastes of sweet fruits, pale malt, has a very noticeable and warming alcohol and a bit of a bite at the back of the mouth. This is a sipper.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled this on tap at the map room before and thought I'd try it in bottle form. 750mL bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a clear and bright copper with a rocky white head that just looks super sticky (leaves a nice bit of lacing down the sides of the chalice) nice and active carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the chalice.

S: Initally yeasty but citrus notes come in a bit later

T/MF: Not quite the same as on tap but that very familiar pineapple and honey combination is unmistakeable. There is also a remarkably pleasing heat to this beer that I normally would find offputting in beers, but it compliments the end spices of this beer quite nicely. The hops coupled with a vigourous carbonation impart a remarkable mouthfeel to this beer, that at first feels a bit watery but expands broadly across the pallate.

D: I love this beer, in this style this beer is excelent and one of the best I've had in recent memory, a very nice beer for a very nice time of year, truely magnificent.

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Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,158 ratings.